Franciscan Sisters Hear Call to Rebuild My Ice Chapel in Houghton

Sister JulieAnn Sheahan

February 04, 2024

St. Francis of Assisi is smiling at St. Albert the Great Campus Ministry, Houghton, Michigan these days as Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity join students, alumni and other parishioners to work together in building the 9th annual Our Lady of the Snows Ice Chapel. Ice and snow are raw materials so dear to this saint’s appreciation for all of creation. Sister Water is equally precious and praiseworthy in frozen form. The chapel plans include an ice altar, stained ice windows and a snow confessional. The Catholic Faith in the Keweenaw Peninsula is growing with each needed stomp. You will want to register for the Ice Mass at

Ice Masses will be celebrated at the following times:

Friday, Feb 9
5:30 pm
10:00 pm

Saturday, Feb 10
10:00 am

Chili will be served after all three. Come hungry!

As Sister Jackie Spaniola admits, ” The chapel is never done but a minute before Fr. Ben begins the liturgy.”

Fr. Ben Hasse is the pastor of this parish campus ministry site and St. Anne Parish, Chassell, but he is much more at this time of the year.

Having his own engineering background, he encourages others’ creativity while being right there with them enjoying the construction project from the ground up. This year’s build has its own challenges.  Lower temperatures and less accumulating snow were not expected. However, the parish plans for the Ice Chapel are to be its biggest variation yet. This includes a new archway leading into the chapel, made from snow slabs. This year’s Masses also may lack Father’s Artic-frosted beard, but more souls may gather in person at the Eucharist to unite with the Lord and each other. One couldn’t have planned this better during this Eucharistic Revival year. The Master Architect is ever with us!

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